Bellot plans supra-regional ‘mobility coordinating’ level
Next January 14th, federal Mobility Minister, François Bellot (MR), will propose to his colleagues from the Walloon, Flemish and Brussels Regions his new ‘2030 vision on mobility’. He plans to coordinate all mobility issues in Belgium by creating a supra-regional coordinating agency among other suggestions.
In an interview with Belgian newpaper Le Soir, Bellot points at the example of cities like Lyon, Vienna and Copenhagen, and hopes this will take between 15 and 20 years.
“Everything is there! All the tools exist. Everywhere it worked, like in Vienna, Copenhagen or Lyon, experts told us one thing: coordination is needed between all actors. It’s the only way to get results”, declares Bellot.
After visiting other cities and having talked to experts, minister Bellot, together with his cabinet, has created a plan for a supra-regional vision on mobility that should be in place by 2030. The federal minister will present it to his colleagues during the next Executive Mobility Minister Committee.
Eighteen themes have been identified and six of them need a common decision from all levels of power. Currently, the Belgian government is in a Routine Motion but Bellot hopes decisions will still be made on mobility.
Central coordinating agency
“The point isn’t to create a new level of power but to bring together people who work in different government’s entities in one central agency for mobility”, explains Minister Bellot. Their major task will be to coordinate the country’s mobility, homogenize procedures, exchange strategies, create studies, compare its work with other countries, and more.
That agency will have one directive that will allow it to integrate all the country’s passenger flow between all operators, introduce a single ticket system and coordinate investments. “To prevent the SNCB/NMBS from building a 2.000-space car park somewhere where the Region has no plans to connect it to a motorway, for example”, adds the Federal Minister.
“The SNCB/NMBS plans on investing 200 million euro during the next five years for its mobility app but so do regional bus companies De Lijn and TEC… No! Let’s develop a common base for everybody”, explains François Bellot. He estimates that the public sector should ensure coordination of public and private strategies and define common standards.
The vision also plans to develop a data sharing system to help everyone. Data derived from travellers such as the type of travellers, payments, sociology of passengers, intermodal consumption or the state of the infrastructure. All will be gathered around the sharing principal: any operator wishing to benefit from the data must share his own.
Impossible without government
For now, with the Michel government resigning, minister Bellot’s plan can’t be ‘enforced’ because it’s only allowed to wind up current business until the elections in May 2019. The minister hopes nonetheless that his Walloon, Flemish and Brussels colleagues will discuss the plan and that it will be a starting point of discussion in the next electoral debate.